Historically, Europe has often trailed behind the United States in the realm of big tech, despite being the birthplace of companies like Spotify, Skype, and Nokia. However, this landscape is undergoing a significant transformation. According to Statista, the market size in Europe is anticipated to reach $66.14 billion in 2023, experiencing an impressive annual growth rate of 17.33%. This stands in comparison to the projected market size in the United States for the same year, which is $87.18 billion.
The growth in Europe’s Artificial Intelligence sector is being propelled by its expanding applications in healthcare, customer service, and support (including chatbots and virtual assistants). The mainstream integration of technologies like ChatGPT in late 2022 further signaled to European companies that the time was ripe to intensify their efforts in the field of artificial intelligence.
Now, the question is: which European cities are at the forefront of A.I readiness in 2023?
Well before the emergence of ChatGPT, major tech companies had recognized Paris as a fertile ground for A.I development. In 2015, Facebook established an A.I research hub in the French capital, and according to Choose Paris Region, there are currently 150 R&D labs in the city dedicated to advancing Artificial Intelligence.
Paris also hosts significant events such as Big Data and A.I Paris, which recently drew more than 16,000 attendees to the city. Additionally, private research centers in Paris are operated by tech giants like Google AI, Stellantis, Renault, and Microsoft Research-Inria Joint Center.
The city is also home to notable startups in the A.I landscape, including Dust, co-founded by former OpenAI engineer Stanislas Polu, and generative A.I startup Mistral, founded by former Meta and DeepMind employees. Mistral gained significant attention following a €105 million seed funding round earlier this year.
Another noteworthy player is LightOn, headquartered in Paris since 2016, with a focus on pushing the boundaries of extreme-scale A.I.
Furthermore, Paris boasts the American-French startup Hugging Face, which recently formed a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services, adding to the city’s A.I appeal.
When discussing London’s role in the realm of A.I, one cannot overlook the prominence of DeepMind. Founded in 2010 by Demis Hassabis, Mustafa Suleyman, and Shane Legg, this British-American company was acquired by Alphabet in 2014.
A significant indicator of London’s A.I readiness is OpenAI’s decision to establish its first international office in the city this year. ChatGPT CEO Sam Altman cited this move as an “opportunity to attract world-class talent” to a sector that already employs over 50,000 individuals across the United Kingdom.
Furthermore, London boasts a thriving A.I ecosystem, with a total of 1,387 companies and startups, as reported by Datacity. Among these, Synthesia, headquartered in London, achieved unicorn status in 2023, securing a valuation of $1 billion following a successful funding round earlier in the summer.
London is also home to other notable firms such as Stability A.I, Builder A.I, and Tractable.
Dublin has enjoyed a longstanding connection with the world of Big Tech, dating back to the early 2000s when Google established its presence in the city’s docklands, famously referred to as “Silicon Docks.” Today, this vibrant area is home to numerous major tech giants.
Dublin now boasts a significant concentration of A.I talent, with longstanding residents like Meta, Google, and Microsoft ranking among the top five companies globally in terms of A.I talent recruitment. Google and Amazon are also actively expanding their teams in the AI domain.
Dublin is a hub of intriguing AI activity, including the recent launch of Generative AI startup Gemmo AI, closely following the footsteps of ChatGPT. In late 2022, EY inaugurated its A.I labs, while Nuritas has been actively engaged in AI and genomics research for an extended period.
Germany, being the largest economy in Europe, is strategically positioned to harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence growth.
At the outset of this year, the country initiated a €1 billion Deeptech and Climate Fund, aimed at supporting growth-stage companies, including those operating within the A.I sector.
Moreover, Berlin-Brandenburg anticipates a substantial increase in the turnover of AI companies, with projections indicating a surge to €2 billion by 2025. Berlin, home to major tech players like Amazon, Zalando, and SAP, has been actively investing in the AI domain, offering promising prospects for those seeking opportunities within the A.I sector.
In the realm of A.I research, Germany hosts the nonprofit German Centre for Artificial Intelligence, further solidifying its commitment to advancing AI technologies.
Sweden, already housing prominent tech giants like Ericsson and Spotify, is well-positioned to recognize the potential in A.I, evident in its national AI strategy launch back in 2018.
Stockholm, a frontrunner in terms of startup unicorns per capita, boasts the largest talent pool for Artificial Intelligence across Nordic countries. Organizations like AI Sweden and Vinnova play crucial roles by offering information and support to companies eager to delve deeper into the realm of AI. Meanwhile, Stockholm is a thriving hub for A.I startups, with notable names like Ecobloom and Depict.ai.
A comprehensive report by EY on A.I in Sweden identified three key factors that are poised to foster A.I growth, a sentiment shared across the Nordics. These factors include a dedicated focus on ethics, equality, and fairness; access to valuable national datasets; and the Nordics’ strong foundation in digitalization, consistently ranking high in digital competitiveness.
Peering into the Future
As per McKinsey’s projections, A.I is set to generate between 20 to 50 million job opportunities worldwide by 2030, spanning various industries.
In Europe, several companies actively recruit for A.I-related positions. Notable examples include Accenture, Tractable, and Tibber.